OSU snapped a two-game losing streak and picked up its first road victory of the season with the 74-63 win over Auburn in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
The Cowboys were 0-4 in true road games and Auburn was 7-2 at home this year, with a victory over Kentucky.
“I’m very proud of the focus and mental preparation of our team to go on the road in a big stage and we talked to our team about how this was a big stage being the Big 12/SEC Challenge,” said OSU coach Travis Ford. “I couldn’t be any more proud of our team to come on the road and get a good win.”
Jawan Evans led OSU with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
“We played a whole 40 minutes,” Evans said. “We came out fired up on offense and defense. We just carried that throughout the game.
“It was a big thing for us being on the road. We wanted to come out fired up, make shots and get back on the defensive end, and that’s what we did.”
OSU held the Tigers to 29 percent shooting on the night, which is the second lowest opponent shooting percentage this season.
The Big 12 won seven of the 10 games in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, which makes the conference 3-0 in the head-to-head matchup against the SEC.
“This game doesn’t mean a lot, but it also does mean a lot,” Ford said “It’s not a conference game, but we were on a fairly big stage tonight. All day today people talked about the Big 12/SEC Challenge. It was all over TV with a lot of big games and great games. I told them this is not a conference game, but it’s a big stage where we can go out and get a good road win and feel good about ourselves. Hopefully, our fans feel better about our basketball team after this game.
“Now we’ve got to refocus again and get back into conference play. In the whole grand scheme of things, for our basketball team and all we’ve been through, it’s a great win. It’s a great win for our team to come and play the way we did. Not just get a win, but we played pretty well for 40 minutes. All we’ve heard in the last couple of days is how great Auburn is at home. You know 20 points better at home; 10 percent higher field goal percentage at home. We’ve had all these stats that we’ve talked to them about and it was a fine line. We didn’t want to psych them out about it, but we felt like they needed to know this and to understand that we started the game with our backs against the wall. We’ve got to come out and be ready to play.”